The mysterious Keyboard Kid is a shadowy figure. A Seattle producer probably best known for his work alongside esoteric rapper Lil B, he’s also a peddler of the Based God’s positive lifestyle manifesto. With a penchant for sampling figures from the contemporary indie world – Imogen Heap features heavily on earlier work, such as last year’s ‘The Mind is So Complex When Your(sic) Based’ – Kid has mainly spent the last couple of years dropping consistently strong instrumental tapes, usually for free from his Bandcamp page.
His hip-hop work mainly fits into the cloud rap/trap beat camps inhabited by the likes of Clams Casino and Main Attrakions, but this style largely takes a hiatus on ‘The Transition’; five tracks of cold-blooded bass music that flit between genres – often within the same track. A link up with Donky Pitch – the Brighton-based home of Slugabed amongst others – ‘The Transition’ sees Kid stretching his legs and taking a walk around the darker corners of bass music.
Opener ‘BasedExorcism’ is as close to his Lil B work as Kid goes here, stirring disembodied vocal cuts, crumpled drums and dirty, dirty bass into a haunted sonic stew. Scary stuff. But by ‘LongLiveSwag’, things have taken a turn straight out of leftfield. The track springs out the blocks with a riotous flurry of almost Gabba-paced beats, pummelling the brain into submission alongside some equally aggressive synth work. For those used to the gauzy haze of Kid’s cloud rap work, ‘LongLiveSwag’ will come as a jolt from the blue, almost like the producer’s own exorcism from the based.
‘The Transition’ works mainly as a sampler; a mezze of different styles to sit alongside Keyboard Kid’s Lil B work, from the title track’s disseminated dubstep to the touches of broken beat and drum n’ bass on ‘TheMost’. As an introduction to what is hopefully a long-term residency at Donky Pitch, it’s an imposing statement of intent.
‘The Transition’ is released via Donky Pitch on May 7.